Columbia House Starts Selling Video Games

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Columbia House said yesterday that it is selling video games for all of the major console platforms through mail order.


The Columbia House Co., New York, already has made video games available to people who buy DVDs and to music club members in mid-July, when the games will be available to all 11 million members of both clubs. The company has signed a strategic consulting agreement with Majesco, a developer, publisher and distributor of games.


"The marketing and selling of video games makes sense on many levels -- extending our product offerings while significantly improving our members' experience," Columbia House chairman/CEO Scott Flanders said in a statement. "It's a very natural progression of the Columbia House business."


Initially, 100 SKUs will be offered. The company said it plans to launch a separate video game club as sales grow. The games will be offered for Sony's PlayStation2, Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube and Game Boy. Though PC games won't be sold, Columbia House also is looking into offering downloads of PC games.


Columbia House is the world's largest direct marketer of music, videos and DVD home entertainment products. The company is a general partnership, acquired last year by the Blackstone Group, a private investment bank. Former owners Sony Corp. and AOL Time Warner Inc. retain minority interests.


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